Vains of Jenna @ Cardiff Barfly 09/06/2010

Tonight sees the debut of Vains of Jenna at the Cardiff Barfly, the Swedish band are playing the last show of their UK tour and their very first show in Cardiff.

Forever Vendetta - Photograph by

Opening up proceedings are Forever Vendetta, the startlingly young and gifted quintet are a refreshing take on the early 80s riff heavy metal scene, giving nods to the likes of Van Halen, Poison and of course the mighty Motley Crue – in fact frontman Chris Stryker’s vocal style bears an uncanny resemblance to David Lee Roth, with the guttural tone of the Crue’s Vince Neil.

Lead guitarist KC Leigh oozes confidence, throwing shapes all over the shop with a Gibson Firebird joined to his hip and all manners of groovetastic riffs blasting through his stack. Leigh’s rhythm counterpart Skwair provides a solid six string backdrop and occasionally joins in the riffage providing Thin Lizzy style harmonics, all this adorning the tight rhythm section of L.A. on bass and KB Stephens on drums.

A mighty setlist featuring a blinding take on Stevie Wonder’s Superstition has whipped the crowd into a frenzy, this agonisingly youthful band have set the bar high.

Circle of One - Photograph by

Up next are Valleys veterans Circle of One, a band with an obscene ability to write a hook. They can only be described as metal for the discerning music lover, with heavy hitting guitars, melodic vocals and dynamic song structures.

Vocalist Julian Gardner has an almost effortless singing voice, note and pitch perfect whilst still remaining energetic on stage. Rich Gardner provides rock solid lead backed by Chris Lewis on Bass and Mike Harper on drums.

This is a band that belongs on a grander stage, and they certainly play the Barfly as if it’s the CIA.

Vains of Jenna - Photograph by

Now it’s time for headliners, Vains of Jenna to take to the stage, hailing from Falkenberg Sweden the band have recently parted ways with original vocalist Lizzy Devine, replaced by Jesse Forte who looks every inch the rockstar.

Vains of Jenna - Photograph by

From the outset the bands energy is undeniable, so much so the stage can hardly contain them. Guitarist Nicki Kin has all the licks of Slash with the punk attitude of Sid Vicious, bass player JP White is the epitome of cool and drummer Jacki Stone is like the real life Animal, drummer of Dr Teeth in the Muppet Show.

The band prove that despite Devine’s departure they’re determined to carry on, with a good setlist and an energetic show the Cardiff crowd lap up every second.

Jarrad ‘Nöir’ Owens

Special thanks to Donna @



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